CN — LARRY ROMANOFF: 为资本主义欢呼三声

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    为资本主义欢呼三声

    到2020年10月4日拉里·罗曼诺夫

    CHINESE   ENGLISH

    中文         英文

     

     

      • Playing the Word Game
      • 玩文字游戏

    In early 2014 the Shanghai Daily carried an article by Cherry Cao titled “Pudong office rents outperform Puxi’s in Q4”. Its content is instructive. First, what are rising prices? Inflation. Is that good? Not usually. We certainly don’t like to see rising home prices, we don’t enjoy paying more for the fuel for our cars and few of us are happy to pay the increasing prices in the supermarkets. China’s Central Government has taken resolute action on many occasions to kill inflation, to at least stop prices increasing if not to drive them down. Inflation is bad, and harms almost everyone. But this article isn’t bemoaning rising office rents in Pudong; quite the contrary, it suggests that this is a good thing because Pudong’s rents are “outperforming” those in Puxi. What are we to think?

    2014年初,《上海日报》刊登了曹雪莉的一篇文章,题为《第四季度浦东写字楼租金表现优于浦西》。它的内容很有启发性。首先,什么是物价上涨?通货膨胀。这样好吗?通常不会。我们当然不喜欢看到房价上涨,我们不喜欢为汽车的燃料支付更多的钱,我们当中很少有人愿意支付超市里不断上涨的价格。中国中央政府多次采取果断行动遏制通货膨胀,如果不是为了压低物价,至少要阻止物价上涨。通货膨胀很糟糕,几乎对所有人都有害。但本文并不是在哀叹浦东写字楼租金的上涨;恰恰相反,这表明这是一件好事,因为浦东的租金水平“优于”浦西。我们该怎么想呢?

     

     If I own a shopping mall and raise the rents, 600 shop-owners will now have to raise their prices and hundreds of thousands of shoppers will have to pay more for the goods they buy. Who is supposed to be happy about this? The consumers have nothing to cheer about. Certainly the shop-owners aren’t happy. Does the city government smile at the news that rent inflation is taking its toll on smaller businesses? I don’t see why it would. The only person who is happy is me, because I am bleeding more bank accounts faster. The end result of course, is precisely the income disparity that everyone claims is a bad thing, the increasing transfer and concentration of wealth in a steadily decreasing number of hands. By raising the rents, I am transferring several RMB from each purchase by hundreds of thousands of individual consumers, through the shop-keepers, into my bank account. That is the prime source of what we call income disparity, the difference in assets between the very rich and everyone else. What we need to do is to push the rents down, make it easier for the shop-owners to stay in business and offer lower prices. And we need to increase taxes to the landlords, to reduce the profitability from their greed, and redistribute that money through civic infrastructure and social services. This is how we push incomes to the lower levels, to the smaller shops and the smallest consumer, and how we reduce the income disparity in China. And in doing this, we needn’t feel sympathy for the landlords who now have only $80 billion instead of $90 billion.

    如果我拥有一座购物中心并提高租金,600名店主现在将不得不提高价格,数十万购物者将不得不为他们购买的商品支付更多费用。谁应该为此感到高兴呢?消费者没有什么好高兴的。当然,店主们不高兴。听到房租上涨正在给小企业造成损失的消息,市政府会微笑吗?我不明白为什么会这样。唯一快乐的人是我,因为我的银行账户在更快地流失。当然,最终的结果恰恰是所有人都声称是坏事的收入差距,财富越来越多地转移和集中在越来越少的手中。通过提高租金,我将数十万个人消费者每次购买的商品中的几元钱通过店主转入我的银行账户。这就是我们所说的收入差距的主要来源,也就是富人和其他所有人之间的资产差异。我们需要做的是降低租金,让店主更容易继续经营下去,并提供更低的价格。我们需要增加对房东的税收,减少他们贪婪带来的利润,并通过公民基础设施和社会服务重新分配这笔钱。这就是我们如何将收入推向较低水平、规模较小的商店和最小的消费者,以及如何缩小中国的收入差距。这样一来,我们就不必同情那些现在只有800亿美元而不是900亿美元的房东了。

    And therein lies the danger of listening to the Americans: the risk of being contaminated by their political/religious/capitalist ideology is surprisingly high because you become infected without conscious realisation. The subtle changes in definition and usage of words, the clever presentation of bad as good and, just as with the movies, we unconsciously accept the moral lesson contained in the message, in this case that “performance” is somehow a good thing, even if the thing performing is inflation. And instead of feeling concern, we are urged to feel a kind of pride that Pudong is performing so well and also a bit of pity for poor Puxi that is underperforming the market, probably being left behind because it is old-fashioned. Rising prices – bad inflation – is now reclassified as good performance, cleverly couched in terms of prestige, success, and high-class development and therefore to be praised. We are creating a myth that bad is really good and should be supported. Listen to the words, and how they are intended to push us to accept values that are against our own best interest. This choice of words is not an accident:

     听美国人的话的危险就在这里:被他们的政治、宗教、资本主义意识形态污染的风险高得惊人,因为你在没有意识到的情况下就被感染了。词语的定义和用法发生了微妙的变化,巧妙地把坏事说成好事,就像电影一样,我们也不自觉地接受了这条信息中包含的道德教训,在这种情况下,“表现”在某种程度上是好事,即使表现的是通货膨胀。我们不应该感到担忧,而是应该为浦东的表现感到自豪,也应该为表现不佳的浦西感到些许遗憾。浦西的表现可能落后于市场,因为它太过时了。物价上涨——糟糕的通货膨胀——现在被重新归类为良好表现,巧妙地用威望、成功和高端发展来表达,因此值得称赞。我们制造了一个神话,认为坏就是好,应该得到支持。听听这些话,以及它们是如何促使我们接受违背自身最佳利益的价值观的。这种措辞并非偶然:

    “Rents for Grade A offices on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River “continued to outperform” those on the Puxi side”, “strong demand” “continuing to drive rental growth”. And this was “a notable contrast” to poor Puxi that “shed” its prices and had “a flat office leasing market” because “demand from cost-conscious companies” remained weak.

     黄浦江浦东一侧甲级写字楼租金”继续跑赢“浦西一侧”,“需求强劲”“继续推动租金增长”。这与贫穷的浦西形成了“明显的对比”,浦西“降价”,因为“成本意识强的公司的需求”依然疲软,所以拥有“平淡的写字楼租赁市场”。

    What conclusions do we draw from these words? First, that Pudong is growing and expanding and doing markedly better than Puxi, with increasing demand driving growth, and attracting all the companies that have money. How can we not be in favor of that? And secondly that backward Puxi is not expanding but contracting, “shedding” its growth, and how can we be happy about that? Even worse, Puxi rents were flat because demand from “cost-conscious” companies was weak, and what does that imply? That Puxi is the location of choice for firms with no money, those who can’t afford to rent nice space because they aren’t expanding and are probably worried about paying the water bill. Not only that, but Puxi is probably on a long-term trend to failure since it is “shedding” what appears to be value. But Puxi is not shedding value; instead, it is shedding high prices, the opposite of inflation, which is what everyone really wants.

     我们从这些话中得出了什么结论?首先,浦东正在增长和扩张,表现明显优于浦西,需求的增加推动了增长,吸引了所有有钱的公司。我们怎么能不支持这一点呢?第二,落后的浦西不是在扩张,而是在收缩,在“摆脱”增长,我们怎么能对此感到高兴呢?更糟糕的是,浦西的租金持平是因为“成本意识”公司的需求疲软,这意味着什么呢?浦西是那些没有钱的公司的首选地点,这些公司因为没有扩张能力,可能担心要支付水费而无法负担好的空间租金。不仅如此,浦西可能还会长期走向失败,因为它正在“剥离”看似有价值的东西。但浦西没有贬值;相反,它在降低高物价,这与通胀相反,而通胀正是每个人真正想要的。

    And with all of this, where will you go if you want to rent space? To Pudong with its driving growth and demand, where all the action is, or to poor shrinking backward Puxi with all the other losers who have no money? And what is the result of all this? To take advantage of clever psychological tricks to force demand in Pudong where these companies are building and leasing space, to play up Pudong at the expense of Puxi, to denigrate the real heart of Shanghai, to change social attitudes and alter society’s values to fill the pockets of parties with vested interests. For many of the above quotes we can thank Eric Xin at Jones Lang LaSalle and others at Colliers International, which are not Chinese companies and have no interest whatever in what is good for China. I would be interested to know if these people think about what they do, in terms of what is good for Shanghai, beyond promoting huge profits for an American company.

     有了这些,如果你想租房子,你会去哪里呢?到了推动增长和需求的浦东,所有的行动都在那里,还是到了贫穷落后的浦西,还有其他所有没钱的输家呢?这一切的结果是什么?利用巧妙的心理伎俩,迫使这些公司在浦东建设和租赁空间,抬高浦东的地位,损害浦西的利益,诋毁上海真正的心脏,改变社会态度,改变社会价值观,让既得利益者填满各方的口袋对于以上的许多引述,我们可以感谢仲量联行的埃里克·辛和高力国际的其他人。这些公司不是中国公司,对什么对中国有利都不感兴趣。我想知道的是,除了为一家美国公司谋取巨额利润之外,这些人是否还会考虑自己的所作所为,考虑对上海有什么好处。

    China is being contaminated by American ideology and so-called “values” in ways you can’t even imagine. It wouldn’t be so bad if these values were beneficial or neutral, but they are not. American firms, and the US government, are almost viciously anti-consumer and anti-society, this ideology reflected in their actions if not their words. Why do you suppose Monsanto is suing every state in the US that tries to pass food-labeling laws requiring identification of GM food? Why do you suppose the US has the most expensive and dysfunctional mobile phone system in the world, but some of the most profitable mobile phone companies? Why do you suppose the US government spent trillions bailing out the banks that caused 25% of Americans to lose their homes, altogether ignoring the victims of those banks? This is merely one symptom of the insanity that is the financialisation of the American economy: cheering for high prices in new home sales, office and shop rents, bank profits, a rise in the Chinese currency and more. Increasingly, portions of society that should be stable are being treated as a kind of imaginary “investment” for the benefit of the public when of course they are no such thing. In what way are excessively high home prices or property rents a good thing for society? In what way is a steadily increasing currency exchange rate good for China?

     中国正以你甚至无法想象的方式被美国的意识形态和所谓的“价值观”所污染。如果这些价值观是有益的或中立的,就不会那么糟糕了,但事实并非如此。美国公司和美国政府几乎是恶毒的反消费者和反社会者,这种意识形态反映在他们的行动中,如果不是他们的言论的话。为什么你认为孟山都会起诉美国所有试图通过食品标签法的州,要求对转基因食品进行鉴定?为什么你认为美国拥有世界上最昂贵、功能最差的移动电话系统,却拥有一些最赚钱的移动电话公司呢?为什么你认为美国政府花了数万亿美元救助那些导致25%美国人失去家园的银行,却完全无视这些银行的受害者呢?这只是美国经济金融化的疯狂表现之一:为新房销售、写字楼和商店租金、银行利润、人民币升值等方面的高价欢呼。越来越多的人将社会中本应稳定的部分视为一种假想的“投资”,为公众谋福利,而这些投资当然不是这样的东西。过高的房价或房租对社会有什么好处?稳步增长的汇率对中国有什么好处?

    The International bankers and financiers have utilised their control of the media over decades to create an enormously dangerous public myth that price-gouging and excessively-high corporate profits are somehow good for the economy of a nation and for the people. We needn’t be very intelligent to realise this is nonsense. And yes of course corporations need profits in order to grow and remain in business, but this is not the issue; it isn’t normal or reasonable profits that are being encouraged and praised, but excessive and abnormal ones. The purpose of course is the dividends and stock values for the top 1% who control these banks and industrial companies, but they are not “society” in any sense, and their intention is not to contribute but to drain, to bleed the middle and lower classes and transfer an increasing share of national wealth to themselves. This is the cause of the large and growing income disparity in America today, precisely the situation the Americans are encouraging in China and that China is working to reduce: Capitalism is extractive by nature, never contributive, and will destroy a society if not rigidly controlled.

     几十年来,国际银行家和金融家利用对媒体的控制,制造了一个极其危险的公众神话,认为哄抬价格和过高的企业利润不知何故对一个国家的经济和人民有利。我们不需要太聪明就能意识到这是胡说八道。当然,企业需要利润才能发展和维持业务,但这不是问题所在;鼓励和赞扬的不是正常或合理的利润,而是过度和不正常的利润。其目的当然是控制这些银行和工业公司的前1%的人的股息和股票价值,但他们在任何意义上都不是“社会”,他们的意图不是捐款,而是榨干、榨干中低阶层的血,并将越来越多的国民财富转移给自己。这就是当今美国巨大且不断扩大的收入差距的原因,正是美国人在中国鼓励的情况,也是中国正在努力减少的情况:资本主义本质上是采掘型的,从来没有贡献过,如果不严格控制,它将摧毁一个社会。

    We read that China’s RMB is “performing well” on international markets. What does that mean? China’s currency is rising in relation to currencies of other countries, damaging China’s trade position, making Chinese goods more expensive and creating domestic employment pressure. Why is that good? Yes, it lowers the cost of imports and makes foreign travel cheaper, but most Chinese expenditures are for domestic products whose market position is damaged by their price increases relative to foreign goods. And the lower-income people suffer the most, increasing China’s income disparity. But “performance” must somehow be good, and we often fail to think beyond this.

     我们看到中国的人民币在国际市场上表现良好。这是什么意思?人民币相对于其他国家货币的汇率正在上升,损害了中国的贸易地位,使中国商品更加昂贵,并造成国内就业压力。为什么这样好呢?是的,它降低了进口成本,让国外旅行更便宜,但中国的大部分支出都是用于国内产品,这些产品的市场地位因其相对于外国商品的价格上涨而受损。低收入者受害最严重,加剧了中国的收入差距。但是,在某种程度上,“表现”必须是好的,而我们往往无法超越这一点去思考。

    We read the same propaganda with relation to bank profits, the US media constantly crowing about these reaching record highs, as if this were a good thing for the nation. It isn’t a good thing, not in any sense. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their homes and jobs, with many millions of these people working part-time at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart and sleeping in tents in the park, but Americans have for generations been conditioned to cheer on command when Goldman Sachs is achieving record profits. And again, of course banks need profits to stay in business, but again that isn’t the issue. The issue is that banks are achieving exorbitant profits at the expense of the nation, sucking immense sums of money from the middle and lower classes and concentrating it in a few hands. The retail fees and charges – and lack of paid interest – function as a tax on all of society, something no other industry can do, and it is these greatly-increased fees and charges to consumers that create the record profits. Why should we cheer about that? There was a time when banks earned their profits by taking deposits on which they paid 3% and lent out at 6%, and that interest rate differential was sufficient for them to survive and make a good living. But then greed activated their imagination and they discovered hundreds of ways to make customers pay extra fees, not because they did anything to earn them, but just because they could get away with it.

     我们读到了同样的关于银行利润的宣传,美国媒体不断吹嘘这些利润达到了历史新高,仿佛这对美国是件好事。从任何意义上说,这都不是好事。数以千万计的美国人失去了家园和工作,其中数百万人在麦当劳或沃尔玛做兼职,睡在公园里的帐篷里,但几代人都习惯于在高盛实现创纪录的利润时,为自己的指挥权欢呼。当然,银行需要利润才能继续经营下去,但这又不是问题所在。问题在于,银行正在以牺牲国家利益为代价获取巨额利润,从中低阶层那里吸走巨额资金,并将其集中在少数人手中。零售业的收费——以及支付的利息的缺失——对整个社会都是一种征税,这是其他行业无法做到的,而正是这些对消费者大幅增加的收费创造了创纪录的利润。我们为什么要为此欢呼呢?曾经有一段时间,银行通过存款赚取利润,存款利率为3%,贷款利率为6%,这种利差足以让它们生存下来并过上好日子。但后来贪婪激发了他们的想象力,他们发现了数百种让顾客支付额外费用的方法,不是因为他们做了任何事情来赚钱,而是因为他们可以逃脱惩罚。

    In the same vein we are conditioned to cheer for a firm like Apple who had more than $200 billion in excess profits sitting in China and other countries, outside the reach of the US tax man. We are supposed to be impressed at this wonderful firm with its sexy products, and cheer its good fortune. But it earned much of that good fortune in viciously anti-consumer behavior, by gouging its Chinese consumers in totally illegal ways, from gross over-pricing to cheating on warranties, charging for free services and paying Foxconn almost nothing for the wages of Chinese workers. Apple’s China executives should be in prison, but instead we are admiring them. Why?

     同样的道理,我们也习惯于为苹果这样的公司喝彩,因为它在中国和其他国家拥有2000多亿美元的超额利润,美国税务人员无法负担。我们应该为这家出色的公司性感的产品留下深刻印象,为它的好运喝彩。但它通过恶毒的反消费者行为赢得了大部分财富,通过完全非法的方式欺骗中国消费者,从严重的过高定价到欺诈保修、免费服务收费,以及几乎不向富士康支付中国工人的工资。苹果在中国的高管应该坐牢,但我们却在钦佩他们。为什么?

    Similarly, in October of 2014, an article in the China Daily by Zheng Yangpeng lamented the “weak” housing prices in many cities in China, saying the October figures were “the gloomiest” house pricing report since January. And Yan Yuejin, an analyst with ‘E-house China R&D Institute‘ was whining that “the road to recovery” was bumpy, complaining that developers “might have to cut prices to get more sales”. And what does all this mean? It means that too many Chinese have lost their brains while listening to the American version of capitalism and free markets.

     类似地,2014年10月,郑扬鹏在《中国日报》上发表的一篇文章对中国许多城市的房价“疲软”表示哀悼,称10月的数据是自1月以来“最悲观的”房价报告。“易居中国研发院”分析师严跃进抱怨,“复苏之路”崎岖不平,抱怨开发商“可能必须降价才能获得更多销售”。这一切意味着什么呢?这意味着太多中国人在听美国版的资本主义和自由市场时失去了理智。

    What are ‘weak housing prices’? Evidence that finally the totally outrageous home prices in some large cities have stopped rising, maybe for the first time in a decade giving hope to millions of Chinese who want to buy their own home. But to Zheng, this is “gloomy” news and we should hope that prices “recover” to even higher levels, creating even more profit for the few owners of three or four companies while another 100 million Chinese can forget about ever buying their own home. And what a shame that developers might actually have to lower their prices. How terrible, that these few people will fail to earn yet more billions, with no apparent thought of the overall good of the nation or the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese. Who is more important to China? A few property developers, or the people? I have no particular animosity toward big business, but:

     什么是“房价疲软”?有证据表明,一些大城市的房价终于停止了上涨,这或许是十年来的第一次,给数百万想买房的中国人带来了希望。但对郑先生来说,这是一个“悲观”的消息,我们应该希望房价能“恢复”到更高的水平,为三四家公司的少数业主创造更多利润,而另外1亿中国人可以忘记自己曾经买过房子。开发商实际上可能不得不降价,这真是太可惜了。这几个人赚不到更多的数十亿美元,却明显没有考虑到国家的整体利益或数亿中国人的生活,这是多么可怕啊。谁对中国更重要?是几个房地产开发商,还是那些人?我对大企业没有特别的敌意,但是:

     If all the large property developers in China go bankrupt, that event would be of no consequence whatever to the nation and others would be quick to take their place. But if 300 million Chinese cannot afford to ever purchase a home, that is of enormous consequence to China and its future.

      如果中国所有的大型房地产开发商都破产了,这件事对国家来说不会产生任何影响,其他人很快就会取而代之。但如果3亿中国人买不起房子,那对中国及其未来将产生巨大影响。

    For the sake of all Chinese, we should hope for more ‘gloomy’ news on house prices, and soon. And these so-called experts need to be committed to institutions for the mentally incompetent where they can stop listening to Americans and do no more harm to their country.

     为了所有中国人的利益,我们应该期待更多关于房价的“悲观”消息,而且很快就会出现。这些所谓的专家需要致力于为精神不健全者设立机构,在那里他们可以停止倾听美国人的意见,不再对自己的国家造成伤害。

      • Let the Market Decide
      • 由市场决定

    This is one of the most pervasive – and most dishonest – capitalist myths promoted by virtually every part of America from the government to the average brainwashed man on the street. But what does it mean to “let the market decide”? For one thing, who is ‘the market’ that will do the deciding? The statement somehow implies that this market consists of all the consumers, designated by God as the final arbiter of choice, and that they should be presented with a more or less unrestricted selection of products, be free to choose those which they prefer, and thus determine the kind and quality of the future flow of products and services. But when dealing with American capitalism, this is precisely what does not happen. The simple truth is that people cannot buy what they prefer because they have no control over the manufacturing and supply of goods. They can choose only from what they are offered.

     这是一个最普遍、也最不诚实的资本主义神话,几乎在美国的每一个地方都在宣扬这种神话,从政府到街头被洗脑的普通人。但“由市场决定”意味着什么呢?首先,谁是做出决定的“市场”?这份声明在某种程度上意味着,这个市场由上帝指定为最终选择仲裁者的所有消费者组成,他们应该有或多或少不受限制的产品选择,可以自由选择自己喜欢的产品,从而决定未来产品和服务流动的种类和质量。但在应对美国资本主义时,这恰恰是不可能发生的事情。简单的事实是,人们无法购买自己喜欢的东西,因为他们无法控制商品的制造和供应。他们只能从提供给他们的东西中选择。

     General Motors does not want to build electric cars. It made one in the US that was a success, but then repossessed all those cars and had them crushed into scrap metal. GM didn’t want to build them in the US and doesn’t want to build them in China. But China’s government wants electric autos because it realises that is the only hope for a mobile China, that we cannot have 1.5 billion Chinese driving gasoline-powered cars since the resultant pollution would eventually kill everyone. GM refuses to comply with China’s wishes and needs, until recently producing only the useless Volt, badly-overpriced to ensure it wouldn’t sell. GM wants to produce only gasoline-powered autos, so how to deal with China’s government? Easy. Preach the capitalist mantra of “letting the market decide”, which in this case means permitting Chinese customers to choose from among GM’s badly-overpriced and crappy Volt and the badly overpriced and crappy regular GM autos.

     通用汽车不想生产电动汽车。它在美国制造了一辆成功的汽车,但后来收回了所有这些汽车,并把它们压成了废金属。通用汽车不想在美国生产,也不想在中国生产。但中国政府想要电动汽车,因为它意识到这是移动中国的唯一希望,我们不能让15亿中国人驾驶汽油动力汽车,因为由此产生的污染最终会导致所有人死亡。通用汽车拒绝遵从中国的意愿和需求,直到最近才开始生产无用的伏特汽车。为了确保销量,通用汽车的定价被严重高估。通用汽车希望只生产汽油动力汽车,那么该如何应对中国政府呢?容易的。宣扬“由市场决定”的资本主义口号,这意味着允许中国客户从通用汽车定价过高、质量低劣的伏特和定价过高、质量低劣的通用汽车常规车型中进行选择。

     There is nothing in here about producing a wide range of gasoline and electric vehicles and then letting the consumers choose. It is all about GM using the myth of market demand to support its own manufacturing preferences. GM is focused entirely on profits and has minimal knowledge of or concern for China’s larger social or economic needs. GM was telling us there was no demand for electric autos, hardly a surprise since GM didn’t make any. But China’s government is encouraging and subsidising electric auto purchases, which meets with great displeasure from GM who, sadly, doesn’t qualify for the subsidies. We are therefore treated to the added attraction of watching GM whine about how it is morally wrong for the Chinese government to promote or subsidise the manufacture of anything GM doesn’t want to make. GM has little or no interest in either the market or in demand. It simply designs and makes whatever it believes will produce the highest profits. A “free market” means leaving GM free to do whatever it wants. And that is the entire story.

     在这里,生产各种各样的汽油和电动汽车,然后让消费者自己选择,这是毫无意义的。这一切都是关于通用汽车利用市场需求的神话来支持自己的制造偏好。通用汽车完全专注于利润,对中国更大的社会或经济需求知之甚少,也不太关心。通用汽车告诉我们电动汽车没有需求,这并不令人意外,因为通用汽车没有生产电动汽车。但中国政府正在鼓励和补贴电动汽车的购买,这引起了通用汽车的极大不满。遗憾的是,通用汽车没有资格获得补贴。因此,看到通用抱怨中国政府推广或补贴生产通用汽车不想生产的任何产品在道德上是错误的,我们会受到额外的吸引。通用汽车对市场或需求几乎没有兴趣或根本没有兴趣。它只是设计和制造它认为能产生最高利润的东西。“自由市场”意味着让通用汽车自由地做它想做的事情。这就是全部故事。

    We find the same with housing construction where a relatively small number of firms control the bulk of the residential housing supply. Certainly they assume people will buy what they build, but then people can buy only what is available. Since these firms control the entire design and construction process, they will build whatever they estimate will produce the highest profits, almost entirely without regard for either consumers’ wishes or the good of society as a whole. As with autos, the land development companies use the smoke of “market demand” to justify their own building preferences based solely on profitability.

     我们在住房建设方面也发现了同样的情况,在那里,控制大部分住宅供应的公司相对较少。当然,他们认为人们会购买他们建造的东西,但人们只能购买现有的东西。由于这些公司控制着整个设计和施工过程,他们会建造任何他们估计会产生最高利润的东西,几乎完全不顾消费者的意愿或整个社会的利益。和汽车一样,土地开发公司利用“市场需求”的烟雾来证明自己的建筑偏好完全基于盈利能力。

    Capitalism presents its arguments on the basis of some cryptic moral code, suggesting it is tantamount to God’s will or some law of nature that choices must be left to “the market” which, in the end, consists entirely of their own preferences and driven only by their own profitability. The entire mantra of “letting the market decide” has no meaning at all. None. It is all foolish and baseless propaganda presented in terms of some kind of high morality but which, if properly examined in full daylight, would be discarded as dishonesty and nonsense.

    资本主义的论据是建立在一些隐晦的道德准则基础上的,表明选择必须留给“市场”,这相当于上帝的旨意或某种自然法则。最终,市场完全由他们自己的偏好组成,只由他们自己的盈利能力驱动。“由市场决定”的整个口号毫无意义。没有。这些都是愚蠢和毫无根据的宣传,用的是某种高尚的道德标准,但如果在全天的光天化日之下进行适当的审查,这些宣传就会被视为不诚实和无稽之谈而丢弃。

    American capitalism has pushed the envelope so far in its favor that even Western governments today are afraid to challenge this claim of “letting the market decide”. But it needs to be challenged; the entire capitalist narrative is nothing more than a presumption imposed on a nation by those who stand to gain from it. There are precious few examples where letting the market decide anything, had a beneficial result for a society. GM’s total destruction of the electric train and auto industry in the US was a perfect example of the real meaning of “letting the market decide”. (1)

     美国资本主义迄今为止一直在向自己有利的方向发展,以至于就连今天的西方政府都不敢挑战这种“由市场决定”的说法。但它需要受到挑战;整个资本主义叙事只不过是一种由那些能从中获利的人强加给一个国家的假设。很少有例子表明,让市场决定任何事情,对一个社会产生了有益的结果。通用汽车彻底摧毁了美国的电动火车和汽车行业,这是一个完美的例子,说明了“由市场决定”的真正意义。[1]

    On the same note, China has been overly blessed with a veritable cornucopia of foreign professors at Chinese universities, people like Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management, telling us in condemnatory fashion that China’s government “doesn’t want to let the market define risk”, except that he isn’t talking about ‘defining risk’ but instead about abandoning the economy to the kind of unregulated capitalism that produced the disastrous 2008 financial debacle in the US. Chovanec complains that China “wants to channel resources” in what it deems to be the best places, and is “refusing to give up control” to the free market – as if this were a bad thing. Of course China wants to channel resources and investment into those areas most necessary for the nation. Why wouldn’t China do that? And what demon would possess China’s government that it would turn over full control of the nation’s economy to be structured and then plundered by Western multinationals? Mr. Chovanec’s ideological US preachings no doubt make their way into his classrooms, to the detriment of all students and China’s future.

    同样地,中国大学里的外国教授实在太多了,比如清华大学经济与管理学院的帕特里克·乔瓦内克教授,他用谴责的方式告诉我们,中国政府“不想让市场定义风险”,不过,他说的不是“定义风险”,而是把经济交给那种不受监管的资本主义,这种资本主义导致了2008年美国灾难性的金融崩溃。乔瓦内克抱怨说,中国“想把资源输送”到它认为最好的地方,并“拒绝放弃对自由市场的控制”,好像这是一件坏事。当然,中国希望把资源和投资引导到国家最需要的领域。中国为什么不这么做呢?中国政府会把对该国经济的完全控制权交给西方跨国公司,然后被它们洗劫一空,那又是什么恶魔控制了中国政府呢?毫无疑问,乔瓦内克在美国的意识形态说教进入了他的课堂,损害了所有学生和中国的未来。

     There are many such examples of Western “professors” spending their classroom time in subtle and hypocritical condemnation of China’s policies on matters ranging from social planning, censorship, democracy, human rights, infrastructure spending and financial controls, to the evils of a one-party government and the “lack of choice”. These people are dangerous and should be removed. Almost no Americans are able to separate their programmed ideological nonsense from rational fact, and I doubt any American professors would be either able or willing to eliminate their utopian blindness from their classroom responsibilities. In fact, as Americans, they deem it their responsibility to infect their Chinese students with the full gamut of US political and commercial ideologies, all of which will be detrimental to China.

    有很多这样的例子表明,西方的“教授”在课堂上花时间微妙而虚伪地谴责中国在社会规划、审查、民主、人权、基础设施支出和金融控制等问题上的政策,以及一党政府的弊端和“缺乏选择”。这些人很危险,应该被带走。几乎没有一个美国人能够将他们既定的意识形态废话与理性事实区分开来,我怀疑任何一位美国教授都有能力或愿意在课堂责任中消除他们乌托邦式的盲目性。事实上,作为美国人,他们认为自己有责任让中国学生了解美国的各种政治和商业意识形态,所有这些都将对中国不利。

    User-Pay

     用户付费

     

    During the 1980s recession, the bankers and MBA’s came to the rescue with yet another new gospel for their capitalist bible, this one dictating that “users” should be held responsible for their personal share of the costs of any public good they accessed, transferring government social costs directly to the public at large. In simple terms, ‘user pay’ means that whenever you as an individual use any service provided by any portion of the state, whether local or national, you should have to pay the cost of that service. Nothing is free any longer, on the theory that it is ‘unfair’ for those who don’t use the public library to ‘subsidise’ you who like to read. Why should my taxes contribute to the cost of public transport, when I don’t use the subway? So, if you use the subway, you pay in full.

     在20世纪80年代的经济衰退期间,银行家和MBA的救星们为他们的资本主义圣经带来了另一个新福音,其中规定,“用户”应该为他们获得的任何公共产品的成本承担个人责任,将政府的社会成本直接转移给广大公众。简单地说,“用户付费”意味着,当你作为个人使用州内任何地方提供的任何服务时,无论是地方性的还是全国性的,你都必须支付该服务的费用。任何东西都不再是免费的,理由是那些不使用公共图书馆的人“补贴”你喜欢阅读的人是“不公平的”。既然我不用地铁,为什么我的税收会增加公共交通的成本呢?所以,如果你坐地铁,你要全额付费。

     Everything from library cards to public swimming pools, from the use of public highways to hospitals, from airports to driving licenses, were targeted by this recessionist and tragically disingenuous philosophy promulgated by the bankers and business schools. They attacked the very foundations of society, targeting education and health care, all public utilities and transportation, and virtually all public services which had to that point been part of the universal “social good” that all governments funded through general tax revenue. In fact, the bankers and the business schools were simply extrapolating the corporate religion of greed (nominally referred to as “efficiency”) into the public sector. Unfortunately, it seemed to not occur to any Western government that these public goods, manifested in items like communications and transportation, health care, education, were not “costs” in any corporate sense, but were the very fabric of the nation, and as such were necessarily provided by a national government through general taxation.

     从借书证到公共游泳池,从使用公路到医院,从机场到驾照,一切都成为了银行家和商学院所宣扬的这种衰退主义者和可悲的虚伪哲学的目标。他们攻击社会的根基,攻击的目标是教育和医疗保健、所有公用事业和交通,以及几乎所有的公共服务,到那时,这些服务都必须是普遍的“社会福利”的一部分,而所有政府都通过一般税收来提供资金。事实上,银行家和商学院只是在把贪婪的企业宗教(名义上被称为“效率”)推演到公共部门。不幸的是,任何西方政府似乎都没有意识到,这些体现在通讯和运输、医疗保健、教育等项目上的公共产品不是任何企业意义上的“成本”,而是国家的基本组成部分,因此必然由国家政府通过一般税收提供。

    It is frightening to me that some influential Chinese have senselessly bought into this twisted philosophy with all their hearts, failing to see that the only reason for the existence of their governments was to fulfill these same responsibilities to the people of the nation. But ‘the people’ had now become a kind of enemy, greedy abusers and exploiters of free “optional” services like ambulances or passports. These ‘cheaters’ wanted to drive on streets without paying, or graduate from elementary school at a bargain price. The bankers and business schools exposed to us the irresponsibility of the public in forming such unreasonable expectations of their government, and asked why they should expect to eat freely at the public trough, at the expense of other citizens. It doesn’t seem to occur to many governments that the reason the bankers and corporations don’t want the population ‘feeding from the public trough’ is that they wanted to feed off it themselves, and the trough wasn’t large enough for both the bankers and the people. In the end, governments were re-trained by the bankers and business schools to recognise that the true reason for their existence was not to provide for the people of the nation, but rather to plunder them for the enrichment of the top 1%. User-Pay, which became a new capitalist gospel not for reducing debt but for rapidly accelerating a nation’s income disparity, was a concoction consisting of equal parts of 50% ignorance and 50% stupidity. Privatisation was 100% stupidity.

     令我害怕的是,一些有影响力的中国人毫无意义地全心全意地接受了这种扭曲的哲学,却没有意识到他们的政府存在的唯一原因就是履行对全国人民同样的责任。但“人民”现在成了敌人、贪婪的滥用者,以及救护车或护照等免费“可选”服务的剥削者。这些“骗子”想在街上开车而不付钱,或者以低廉的价格从小学毕业。银行家和商学院向我们揭露了公众对政府形成这种不合理期望的不负责任态度,并问他们为什么要指望在公共食槽里自由用餐,牺牲其他公民的利益。许多政府似乎没有意识到,银行家和企业不想让民众“从公共食槽里吃东西”的原因是他们想自己吃东西,而这个食槽对银行家和民众来说都不够大。最终,银行家和商学院对政府进行了重新培训,让它们认识到,它们存在的真正原因不是为了养活本国人民,而是为了让最顶层的1%富裕起来而掠夺他们。用户付费已成为资本主义的一个新福音,不是为了减少债务,而是为了迅速加速一个国家的收入差距。它是一个由50%的无知和50%的愚蠢构成的混合物。私有化是百分之百的愚蠢。

    Wal-Mart and Basketball

     沃尔玛与篮球

     

     There is one other item that fits neatly into the category of privatising profits and socialising losses, and usually includes big-box hypermarkets, sports venues and transportation nodes. In the US, Wal-Mart has almost always been successful in coercing a local government to pay for all the necessary infrastructure, including access roads, cloverleafs, electrical, sewer and other, when it decides to build a store many Kms. from the nearest highway. This is always justified on the basis of Wal-Mart “creating jobs” when virtually every Wal-Mart in existence has destroyed many more jobs than it has ever created – which is why Wal-Mart is illegal in some US states.

     还有一个项目完全符合利润私有化和亏损社会化的范畴,通常包括大型超市、体育场馆和交通节点。在美国,沃尔玛几乎总是成功地迫使地方政府支付所有必要的基础设施建设费用,包括进场道路、立体车库、电气设备、下水道和其他设施,因为它决定在几公里外建一家商店。从最近的高速公路出发。这总是基于沃尔玛的“创造就业机会”而有道理的,因为几乎所有现存的沃尔玛都摧毁了比以往多得多的就业岗位——这就是为什么沃尔玛在美国一些州是非法的。

    Sports venues like football and hockey stadiums and basketball courts are almost always another massive theft of public funds, the private investor usually threatening to move the stadium to another city unless local authorities pay most of the cost of the facility – without any ownership, of course – hugely increasing the profitability of a sports franchise. It is not for nothing that sports teams are so profitable they sell for hundreds of millions of dollars and yet provide no benefit to a city except foolish pride. Shanghai’s Formula One auto racetrack is one good example; there are hundreds more. Shanghai Disneyland would like a high-speed train link directly to its site; so long as Disney pays for it, I have no objection, the same as with other public facilities. This is one of the oldest scams existing, sucking billions of dollars of public funds to enrich a few private pockets, almost always Jewish-American pockets since this particular fraud was invented by them.

     足球场、冰球场和篮球场等体育场馆几乎总是又一次大规模盗窃公共资金的行为,私人投资者通常会威胁说,除非地方当局支付体育场馆的大部分费用——当然没有任何所有权——大幅提高体育特许经营的盈利能力,否则他们就会将体育场搬到另一座城市。体育团队的利润如此之高,它们的售价高达数亿美元,但除了愚蠢的自豪感之外,对一座城市没有任何好处,这并非毫无道理。上海的一级方程式赛车场就是一个很好的例子;还有数百人。上海迪士尼乐园希望有一条直达其所在地的高铁线路;只要迪士尼付钱,我不反对,其他公共设施也是如此。这是现存的最古老的骗局之一,它吸纳了数十亿美元的公共资金来充实几个私人口袋,几乎都是犹太裔美国人的口袋,因为这种骗局是他们发明的。

     The stories about professional sports teams are the stuff of legend, of naive and gullible local governments spending billions of taxpayer dollars to enrich the personal bank accounts of one or two individuals and receiving little or nothing in return. It is always astonishing to read of the extortion so openly practiced by the owners of sports teams, usually of the following nature: “If you don’t build a new stadium (or racetrack, or football field, or basketball court), we will move our team elsewhere and your city will become a wasteland.” The extortionate threats seem to almost always work. And the result? In 2015, St. Louis in the US was dismayed to learn their football team was relocating to Los Angeles, but even more dismayed to realise they still owed a major portion of the nearly $300 million they had borrowed to build a new stadium to convince the team to remain in their city in the first place. The mayor of St. Louis tried to put a brave face on the loss by claiming with the absence of the football team the city could book more conventions to help recover its losses. Perhaps things are different in America, but I don’t know many organisations that care to hold a convention on a football field. But not to lose the main point which is that none of these contracts, at least none that have come to my knowledge, contain any penalties for a renege or a default on the part of the company. Again, a one-way street. It’s actually worse than this, because in so many cases a city also incurs substantial costs for creation or upgrading of roads and utilities as well as for the facility itself. Moreover, many of these firms demand as part of the incentive for their presence that the local government embark on an intense crackdown to protect logos, copyrights and various other things loosely classified as IP, much as Disney is doing in Shanghai.

     关于职业运动队的故事是传奇故事,是幼稚而轻信的地方政府花费数十亿纳税人的钱来充实一两个人的个人银行账户,却几乎得不到回报的故事。看到体育队老板如此公开地敲诈勒索,总是令人震惊的,这些敲诈勒索通常具有以下性质:“如果你不建造一座新体育场(或赛马场、足球场或篮球场),我们会把我们的球队转移到其他地方,你的城市就会变成一片荒地。这种敲诈勒索的威胁似乎几乎总是有效的。结果呢?2015年,美国圣路易斯得知自己的足球队将迁往洛杉矶,感到沮丧,但更令人沮丧的是,他们还欠下了近3亿美元贷款中的一大部分,这笔贷款是为了建造一座新体育场,以说服球队一开始就留在洛杉矶。圣路易斯市长试图勇敢地面对这场失利,声称由于足球队缺席,该市可以预订更多的赛事来帮助弥补失利。也许美国的情况有所不同,但我不知道有多少组织愿意在足球场上举行大会。但我要说的重点是,这些合同中,至少据我所知,没有一份包含对公司违约或违约的任何处罚。这又是一条单行道。事实上,情况比这更糟,因为在很多情况下,一座城市也会因为修建或升级道路和公用设施以及设施本身而产生巨额成本。此外,许多这类公司要求当地政府采取严厉打击行动,保护商标、版权和其他各种被松散地归为IP的东西,这是它们进驻的动机之一,就像迪士尼在上海所做的那样。

     When the financial crisis hit the US in 2008, GM filed for bankruptcy, with the US and Canadian governments injecting about $75 billion into the company to save it. The unprecedented Canadian government decision to virtually donate almost $15 billion to GM was defended on the basis that it prevented a much greater loss of Canadian auto sector jobs, a claim that is clearly nonsense. If GM had been permitted to go bankrupt and disappear as logic dictated, Chinese and German auto factories would have been fully operational in Canada within a year or less, providing Canadians with much better cars and much less whining. Canada’s $15 billion would have paid for the factories with enough left over for interim unemployment benefits. It was only extreme political pressure – bullying – that would have prompted such an extravagant waste of money, a great proportion of which was never recovered from eventual share sales. And that means Canadian taxpayers gave a gift of billions of dollars to an American company the country didn’t need and which regularly reneged on contractual commitments to invest in Canada. Dealing with the American capitalism is almost always a one-way street.

     2008年金融危机席卷美国时,通用汽车申请破产,美国和加拿大政府向通用汽车注入了约750亿美元来拯救它。加拿大政府史无前例地决定向通用汽车几乎捐赠150亿美元,这一决定得到了辩护,理由是它避免了加拿大汽车行业更大的就业岗位流失,这种说法显然是胡说八道。如果通用汽车被允许破产并按照逻辑消失,中国和德国的汽车工厂将在一年或不到的时间内在加拿大全面运营,为加拿大人提供更好的汽车,而不是抱怨。加拿大的150亿美元本来可以用来购买工厂,剩下的钱足够支付临时失业救济金。只有极端的政治压力——欺凌——才会导致如此铺张浪费的金钱,其中很大一部分从未从最终的股票销售中收回。这意味着加拿大纳税人向该国不需要的美国公司捐赠了数十亿美元,而这家公司经常违背在加拿大投资的合同承诺。与美国资本主义打交道几乎总是一条单行道。

     A similar situation occurred when US Steel filed for bankruptcy in Canada while its pension plan had a deficiency of nearly $1 billion, with the company claiming Canada would be responsible for all those pensions unless the Canadian government wanted to “restructure” the pension plans, which means assuming the American company’s debts. US Steel also had other obligations in Canada totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for loans and pension obligations, not including a massive liability for environmental degradation and cleanup. Some years prior, Canada’s government lent $150 million to US Steel, at an interest rate of only 1%, to encourage the company to “invest” in Canada, but virtually all these investment agreements go sour at the end with the Americans reneging on their commitments. But not everyone was unhappy. Citibank applauded the move, saying the best plan was to “bankrupt the bad and keep the good stuff”, without specifying that this meant ‘keep the good assets for yourself, while you dump the bankruptcies and the losses onto yet another gullible foreign government’. In other words, privatise the profits and socialise the losses.

     类似的情况也发生在美国钢铁公司在加拿大申请破产时,该公司的养老金计划短缺近10亿美元。该公司声称,加拿大将对所有这些养老金负责,除非加拿大政府想“重组”养老金计划,这意味着承担美国公司的债务。美国钢铁在加拿大还有其他债务,总额达数亿美元的贷款和养老金债务,其中不包括环境退化和清理的巨额债务。几年前,加拿大政府向美国钢铁公司贷款1.5亿美元,利率仅为1%,以鼓励该公司在加拿大“投资”,但实际上所有这些投资协议最终都会因美国人背弃承诺而失效。但并非所有人都不高兴。花旗银行对此举表示赞赏,称最佳方案是“破产坏资产,保留好资产”,但没有具体说明这意味着“把好资产留给自己,把破产和损失转嫁给另一个容易上当的外国政府”。换句话说,利润私有化,亏损社会化。

    The American Dream. Just so it doesn’t go unsaid, this was the same Canadian government that gave American pharma companies exclusive patent rights extending for decades into the future, in exchange for 10% of their revenue being invested in R&D. But the only ‘research’ investment the pharma firms made was in creative accounting, where they fraudulently charged all possible operating expenses to “R&D” but still could reach only 4% of revenue, justifying the shortfall by denigrating Canada as ‘uncompetitive’. Naturally, the semi-perpetual patents remained in place. As I wrote above, doing business with the Americans is almost always a one-way street.

     美国梦。为了不让它不为人知,正是同一个加拿大政府给予了美国制药公司长达几十年的独家专利权,作为交换,这些公司的收入有10%用于研发。但制药公司唯一的“研究”投资是在创意会计领域,它们欺诈性地将所有可能的运营费用计入“研发”,但仍然只能达到收入的4%,并通过诋毁加拿大“缺乏竞争力”来为这一缺口辩护。自然,这些半永久性专利仍然存在。正如我在上面写的那样,与美国人做生意几乎总是一条单行道。

      • Labor Productivity
      • 劳动生产率

    Labor productivity is yet another area where the Americans have cleverly re-defined a term to mask a bitterly anti-social agenda. Productivity is normally measured by volume of output in a given time or by the amount produced per person. If I can work faster and more efficiently and produce more items in a day, I am more ‘productive’, but the Americans have changed the meaning of the term from an improved performance of labor to the elimination of it. What was once a desirable social good – improving individual performance and creating more highly-skilled employment for the benefit of the long term – has now become the elimination of labor to improve profit in the short term. American capitalism has re-defined productivity as the elimination of jobs, with the consequent impoverishment and unraveling of society.

     劳动生产率是美国人巧妙地重新定义了一个术语的另一个领域,以掩盖一个强烈的反社会议程。生产力通常是以给定时间内的产出量或人均产出量来衡量的。如果我能更快、更高效地工作,一天生产更多的东西,我就更有效率了,但美国人已经把这个词的含义从劳动表现的改善改为劳动表现的消除。曾经是一种理想的社会福利——改善个人表现,创造更高技能的就业机会,以实现长期利益——现在变成了消除劳动力以提高短期利润的做法。美国资本主义将生产力重新定义为工作岗位的减少,随之而来的是社会的贫困和解体。

     I have detailed elsewhere that while the Europeans and Asians will utilise new technology to enhance product quality and performance, the Americans will apply it to lower their costs and maximise their profits without regard to quality or product development. This is one reason that American products, with some exceptions, have seldom been highly regarded and were most often only barely acceptable in terms of quality. It is the same with labor and productivity; when organisational efficiencies or advances in technology present an opening, the Europeans and Asians will take advantage of these to improve the skill levels of their workforce while the Americans will almost invariably apply those same advances to eliminate their workers. Both parties claim an ‘increase in productivity’, the Europeans and Asians by upgrading the skills and increasing the output of each worker, and the Americans by firing workers and claiming increased output for the unskilled remainder. You can decide which way is best.

     我在其他地方详细说明过,虽然欧洲人和亚洲人将利用新技术来提高产品质量和性能,但美国人将利用新技术来降低成本和实现利润最大化,而不考虑质量或产品开发。这就是美国产品很少受到高度重视的原因之一,除了一些例外情况外,在质量上往往几乎不被接受。劳动和生产力也是如此;当组织效率或技术进步出现空缺时,欧洲人和亚洲人将利用这些优势来提高劳动力的技能水平,而美国人几乎总是会利用这些进步来淘汰他们的工人。双方都声称“生产力提高了”,欧洲人和亚洲人通过提升技能和增加每个工人的产量,而美国人则通过解雇工人和要求增加非熟练工人的产量。你可以决定哪条路最好。

     When a US corporation today claims it can increase productivity, it means it can make more money by firing more people and adding their salaries to the bottom line, and when it claims that government is not efficient and productive in providing social or other services, it really means that a government is sacrificing potential corporate profits by foolishly maintaining social objectives (employment, for example) as an integral part of these services. Shanghai today has many street sweepers with their little brooms and wagons, picking up litter from the city’s streets. It is true this method is not efficient by some economic measures, but it provides thousands of jobs for unskilled laborers who might have difficulty surviving otherwise, and those people are more important than efficiency, at least to me. American firms want Shanghai to purchase large numbers of street-cleaning machines that could do these jobs without the people, the theory being that huge one-time profits for a large American multi-national are more morally praiseworthy than permanent jobs for thousands of Chinese. I disagree.

     如今,当一家美国公司声称自己可以提高生产力时,就意味着它可以通过解雇更多人并将他们的工资提高到最低水平来赚更多的钱,当它声称政府在提供社会或其他服务方面效率低下、效率低下时,就意味着它可以赚更多的钱,这实际上意味着,政府愚蠢地将社会目标(比如就业)作为这些服务的一个组成部分,从而牺牲了潜在的企业利润。如今的上海有很多带着小扫帚和马车的清洁工,他们在城市街道上捡垃圾。诚然,从某些经济指标来看,这种方法是没有效率的,但它为那些可能难以生存的非熟练工人提供了数千个工作岗位,而这些人比效率更重要,至少对我来说是这样。美国公司希望上海购买大量的街道清洁机器,这些机器可以在没有人的情况下完成这些工作,他们的理论是,对于一个庞大的美国跨国公司来说,一次性的巨额利润在道德上比数千名中国人的永久工作更值得称赞。我不同意这种看法。

    On this topic, the American position totally ignores the massive capital cost of purchasing these machines as well as the large expenditure for buildings and maintenance facilities to house them, and of course the huge operating costs as well as the salaries of the operators. Finally, their position ignores entirely the problem of many thousands of suddenly unemployed workers who would either starve or fall onto the city’s welfare rolls, thereby leaving Shanghai with all its original costs in addition to all the new ones. Everybody loses, except one American firm who gains millions in profits by selling street-cleaning equipment. And, by American standards, that’s called “efficiency”. It is also known as privatising the profits and socialising the losses, in other words some privately-owned company gets all the money and the local government is left to pay all the bills.

     在这个问题上,美国的立场完全忽视了购买这些机器所需的巨额资本成本,以及为安装这些机器而建造的大楼和维护设施的巨额开支,当然还有运营商的巨额运营成本和工资。最后,他们的立场完全忽视了数千名突然失业的工人的问题,他们要么挨饿,要么落入城市福利名单,从而让上海除了所有新的成本之外,还承担了所有原有成本。所有人都输了,只有一家美国公司通过出售街道清洁设备获利数百万。按照美国的标准,这就是所谓的“效率”。它也被称为利润私有化和亏损社会化,换句话说,一些私营公司得到了所有的钱,所有的账单都由地方政府支付。

    The truth is that for many social goods, labor productivity and efficiency are not a blessing but a curse. In education, private one-on-one tutoring is the least productive and efficient of all methods, but is also by far the best and offers by far the highest social utility in the long run. We can double the ‘labor productivity’ of education by firing half the teachers, but then what do we have for quality? Yet this is precisely the approach promulgated by American capitalism that strives to eliminate or at least heavily reduce every possible labor component without regard to the larger social issues. This is one reason the US unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, with its high accompanying social and personal costs. The creation and maintenance of employment as a social good is a prime responsibility and an area of serious concern to any decent government, but one Americans shun for the sake of corporate profits. This anti-social attitude has always existed in the US but gained momentum from the early 1980s to the point where the Americans not only commoditised labor but degraded and dehumanised it. Why would China want to emulate this pathology?

     事实是,对于许多社会商品来说,劳动生产率和效率不是福,而是祸。在教育领域,私人一对一辅导是所有方式中效率最低的一种,但也是迄今为止最好的一种,从长远来看,它提供的社会效益也是迄今为止最高的。通过解雇一半的教师,我们可以让教育的“劳动生产率”翻一番,但我们在质量方面又有什么优势呢?然而,这正是美国资本主义所倡导的方法,它力图消除或至少大幅减少所有可能的劳动力成分,而不考虑更大的社会问题。这是美国失业率居高不下的原因之一,伴随着高昂的社会和个人成本。创造和维持就业作为一种社会福利,是任何一个正派政府的首要责任和严重关切领域,但美国人为了企业利润而回避这一点。这种反社会态度在美国一直存在,但从20世纪80年代初开始,这种态度愈演愈烈,以至于美国人不仅将劳动力商品化,还将其贬低和非人化。中国为什么要效仿这种病态呢?

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    Credit image:  https://www.shutterstock.com/pt/image-illustration/large-diverse-group-people-seen-above-721623787?irclickid=wSqW6%3AxA0xyPU-e1nL0Kt3wLUkF2hJQumwGf180&irgwc=1&utm_campaign=TinEye&utm_content=108110&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_source=77643&utm_term=

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    Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).

    罗曼诺夫先生的写作已被翻译成32种语言,他的文章被张贴在30多个国家的150多个外语新闻和政治网站,以及100多个英语平台上。拉里-罗曼诺夫是一位退休的管理顾问和商人。他曾在国际咨询公司担任高级行政职务,并拥有一家国际进出口企业。他一直是上海复旦大学的客座教授,为高级EMBA班级介绍国际事务的案例研究。罗曼诺夫先生住在上海,目前正在写一套与中国和西方普遍相关的十本书。他是辛西娅-麦金尼的新文集《当中国打喷嚏》的特约作者之一。(第2章–与魔鬼打交道)。

    His full archive can be seen at

    他的完整文章库可以在以下看到:

    https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

    He can be contacted at:

    他的联系方式:

    2186604556@qq.com

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    Notes

    注释

    (1) The American Love Affair with the Automobile”: The Unspoken History of the Electric Car;

    (1) 美国人对汽车的热爱:电动汽车的潜历史;

    https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/the-american-love-affair-with.html

    Copyright © Larry RomanoffMoon of ShanghaiBlue Moon of Shanghai, 2022

    版权所有(2022年)拉里·罗曼诺夫上海之月上海的蓝月亮